Faith In Action: Our Environmental Wolves

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers and tape
  • Paper and pencils

Description of Activity

Youth identify their good and bad environmental wolves and decide on some actions they and their families can do to feed the better wolves.

Introduce the activity by producing the battery from your Conundrum Corner. Ask youth why they think it is there. After hearing some ideas, say that it shows how the environment can be like emotions. Sometimes it is difficult to know what is good and what is bad. Ask why batteries are sometimes good and sometimes bad. (They produce electricity, which is cleaner than some other forms of energy, but when you dispose of them the wrong way, they hurt the environment; they need to be disposed of correctly.) Ask also which are better, rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries. (Rechargeable batteries last longer, so users do not need as many batteries. Rechargeable batteries can be recycled, but they still contain heavy metals that are bad for the environment.)

Then connect the environment with the Cherokee story of two wolves. Ask if the youth agree that it sometimes seems that we have two environmental wolves inside us, one of them good and one of them bad. Ask the youth to brainstorm (1) what feeds the good wolf and leads to healthy environmental actions, and (2) what feeds the bad wolf and leads to unhealthy environmental actions.

Consider categorizing the responses into groups such as clean water, clean air, and disposable trash. What feeds the good wolf and leads to healthy environmental actions connected with disposable trash? (Using recycled materials, buying only what you can use, avoiding overly packaged materials, such as individually wrapped cheese slices.) What feeds the bad wolf, leading to unhealthy actions? (Being lazy and throwing out trash that could be recycled, littering or tossing things out of car windows, wanting and buying more than you need.)

When your lists are long enough (several appropriate items in each category), distribute paper and pencils to the youth. Ask them to think about the lists for a moment, then each write down three or four actions they think they and their families should take to feed their healthy environmental wolves.

When all have completed their lists, ask them to take them home and discuss them with their families so that together they can do more things right and fewer things wrong for the environment.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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